GSA improves sustainable facilities tool

Friday - 7/13/2012, 7:14pm EDT

By Esther Carey
Special to Federal News Radio

As agencies continue struggling to meet certain administration sustainability goals, the General Services Administration is updating a tool that can help in one area of that quest.

The Sustainable Facilities Tool, created by the GSA, provides suggestions about how to improve a building's sustainability. This can help agencies or private businesses think through how to best meet efficiency goals. GSA released Version 2.0 of the tool Wednesday.

In June, 23 departments released scorecards indicating their achievement in a variety of green government initiatives. The White House said 13 agencies received a red score in the area of building efficiency, while only five earned a green grade, two earned yellow, and three marked green buildings as not applicable.

The upgraded SFTool includes:

  • An additional 50 percent of content on the website.

  • A green products compilation tool, which lets customers buy materials directly from the site.

  • An updated interface and new interactive user guides.

  • An advanced search engine, helping customers learn about specific requirements for their building

GSA first rolled out the SFTool in February 2011. Since then, GSA says more than 30 agencies have utilized it. There also is a mobile version, which organizations have downloaded 1,400 times.

Noblis, the contractor who developed the tool, said more than 5,000 unique people visit the tool's site every month. "[The tool's] purpose is to simplify, for both government and private-sector property managers, sustainable building practices and compare options for renovation projects," said Kevin Kampschroer, GSA's director of the Office of High-Performing Green Buildings.

Esther Carey is an intern at Federal News Radio.

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